And You Know You Are

Tempers flare as United strengthen grip on title – Premier League, Soccer – Independent.ie

Moments after Taylor wrapped his left arm around Ronaldo’s neck, then cleared out Michael Carrick – for which Taylor was fortunate to be shown a yellow card – Ronaldo and Taylor squared up and Ronaldo informed Taylor that he is a “rubbish footballer”. According to an eye witness, Taylor hit back with: “And you’re ugly.”

This is an alleged confrontation, so I treat the apparently verbatim quotations with some suspicion. I have some experience of playing football (and, gulp, refereeing) in England, albeit not quite at the level of Mr dos Santos Aveiro. At no time did I hear any English footballer, from whom it is likely Ronaldo learned to articulate thoughts about football in colloquial terms, use the adjective ‘rubbish’, a term which not even the most unworldly of public schoolboys would use on the field of play. I conclude, therefore, that ‘rubbish’ is the closest thing to ‘shit’ that the reporter feels comfortable using.

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